Chap 2). What place does the bible have in the world today?
Originally, the Christian Faith was Church-centered; then after the Reformation, it became, for Protestants, Bible-centered. It is said that we exchanged an Infallible Pope for an Infallible Book. It remained Bible-centered up until 1925 (The John T Scopes Trial). All this time, quietly working in the background were Bible Scholars. Like most scholars, Bible scholars investigated the Bible as they would any other ancient document. What they discovered was that it had been created by fallible mortals, usually with the best of intentions. Not only had fallible mortals created this document, they had created a religion in the process. Or perhaps you might prefer to say, ‘They discovered a religion’.
For the workings of the human mind is not satisfied with its role of simply another animal. We see further than animals do actually as well as spiritually. The human mind ‘knows’ that this physical body is not all that there is. Individuals differ on what else there is, but we agree that there is more.
But then, I hasten to add, we speak of a normal, healthy human being; meaning those whose Feeling Brain works as well as their Rational Brain. Unfortunately, American culture has relegated the Feeling Brain to the dust bin, as it seeks to develop its Rational Brain to the utmost – and has left the Feeling Brain to wither. Atheism is perfectly rational. Materialism is perfectly rational. Indifference to human suffering is perfectly rational.
Even so, the Rational-brain people do have a religion and a god. They worship the god of Success, and their religion is Materialism. Pride, Greed, and Ambition are tools that aid them in their quest. They seek to acquire as large a pile of worldly goods as they can, then stand on top of it and proclaim, “Hey, look at me. Look at my pile of worldly goods. Look at how much of the material world I control.”
How do we see it?
“There is nothing more pressing at the heart of the human condition than our hunger for God. Is not the heart of our faith the conviction that the human heart is unsatisfied with anything short of God? St. Augustine said, “You have made us for yourself, dear Lord, and our hearts are restless until they find rest in you.” Alice M. Trowbridge - Associate Pastor, – Fourth Presbyterian Church.
The Church, and religious teachers in general, have, in many ways, sought to make their teachings ‘rational’. In order to do that, they have created a fantasy land where almost anything can happen – anything that seems Logical to the Rational Brain. Thus, the Heavenly kingdom, was visualized as having a human-like monarch, a ‘host’ (an Army), and various other fantasy creatures. Such efforts have been doomed to failure because the modern Rational Brain can not accept the original premise – that such a fantasy land could exist. We do not believe that anything supernatural can be ‘rational’.
WE HAVE FORGOTTEN OUR STORY – by Ted Schmidt
Religion is totally at a loss as to how to respond to the emerging culture, and to the disaffected at least, they no longer look to religion for a hopeful response.
Diarmuid O'Murchu in Religion in Exile
People aren't leaving their churches. They just aren't going to them.
Sociologist Reginald Bibby
The churches may have the water of life, but less and less people want them anywhere near the fire.
Ronald Rolheiser in Holy Longing
Ted Schmidt: “There is a spiritual hunger in the land. In my role as the editor of the Catholic New Times, I get to experience this first hand and it is fascinating. Present in the myriad calls, emails, and letters I receive is the omnipresent desire to come to terms with God in the world. It is obvious that good people are searching for ways to be authentic, to be holy, to do God's will. There is, however, extraordinary confusion, anxiety, fear, and great concern afoot. Why this confusion? With the help of a few writers, I wish to try and unpack some of this huge problem which the churches are dealing with.”
Goto God Loves the World